“Would you like pancakes or eggs, señor?”
On an AeroMexico flight I suddenly remember: I love hot airplane food.
I know I am in the minority, and understandably so, but a hot meal on a plane transports me to a simpler time. When I was a little boy, almost all flights longer than a few hours served a hot meal on board. I was always fascinated by the logistics. How did they make all that food in that tiny kitchen in the back of the plane?! My mom complained our kitchen was too small. Boy, mom was lucky! She would not have made a good flight attendant.
And the pageantry of it all! For starters, I thought anyone who wore a uniform was way cool. The ladies were always so pretty (in my early recollections they are always ladies), with hair pulled back and stylish scarves adorned with wing-like pins. They always smiled at me. And they always gave me extra cookies, when I asked. (Yes, I have always had a weakness for baked goods. Yes, I will always believe that two cookies are better than one.) The pretty cookie lady would push the cart down the aisle, careful to always engage the brakes. I would stare from my seat, wondering what she was serving, wondering what would happen if she forgot the brakes. It was exhilarating. Then like days later, the cart would pull up to my row. She would reveal a tray from one compartment and carefully pull out the “hot stuff” from another. Steaming sparkly foil, cling wrapped fruit, little plastic bowls…every segment was its own unique treat.
I pretend I am much more sophisticated these days. Who cares about peanuts or pretzels? (Though I always take one of each.) But in this time when travel is a litany of chores—take off your shoes, discard your water bottle, pay for your luggage—a hot airplane meal warms my soul. Belly full with tasty, compartmentalized treats, is all the prep I need for a new adventure.